Hundreds came out for Saturday night’s Taste of the Barrier Island dinner, featuring numerous local restaurants and plenty of fun.
The second annual event raised funds to support the Lavallette Volunteer Fire Department, which has already put the money raised at least year’s event to good use in its recovery from damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy.
“They were able to get their kitchen back up and running, and new floors,” said Erin Ryan, who organized this year’s event.
Fire Chief Arthur Reece said last year’s event also helped pay for new driveway aprons outside of the firehouse. This year’s event is going toward a repainting of the building’s interior.
Saturday’s event almost didn’t happen. Last year, the Seaside Heights Rotary sponsored the event, but the group was disbanded later in 2015. That left the planning to Ryan, of Seaside Park, who volunteered her time to organize the dinner again. Her business, the Timothy E. Ryan Home of Funerals, helped sponsor the night.
“We recruited Erin Ryan to fill in, and she’s done a phenomenal job,” Reece said.
Each restaurant donated both food and staff members to help serve it.
“Every single person here, from the band to the food, donated,” Ryan said.
Businesses which donated included: The Crab’s Claw, Lenny’s, Meg’s, Lava Java, Hemingway’s, Klees, Capriccio by the Sea, Chef Mike’s ABG, Ohana Grill, Bum Rogers, Savor, Lavallette Liquors, Bubba’s Burgers, Aqua Blu, Korh’s and Xina.